No one writes about friends, family and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one readers all over the world have waited two years to read!
At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O’Briens.
Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. It’s Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?
You won’t want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we’re betting you’ll want to stay forever.
A few years back I was wandering around a used bookstore trying to find something new to read. I was having a bad day and needed to destress but nothing was appealing to me. I ended up sitting on the floor playing with my phone trying to see if I could come up with anything on Amazon I could find in the store when this elderly lady came into the aisle. She asked me if I was ok because apparently even she could sense the turmoil radiating off me.
For the first time ever in my life I just began venting to this complete stranger about seemingly everything and before I knew it she was sitting next to me on the floor and told me when she has times in her life where everything just feels off kilter she picks up one of the Chesapeake Shore novels by Sherryl Woods.
Please don’t judge me but at this time I had no idea what series she was talking about or even knew the author. I’m not a big fan of Romance novels because I assumed they all are about heaving breasts and male body parts colliding with the heaving breasts which I’m just not into reading about – I’m NOT judging anyone that is; I’m sure there are plenty of you who would roll your eyes at some of the SciFi, Mystery, Historical, ChriFi, YA etc that I think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. To each his own, let’s all just UNITE AS READERS, not divide based on genres.
Anyways, as luck would have it the store had the first four in stock so I decided to buy them because I couldn’t find anything else and didn’t want to disappoint this sweet woman who took time to help a stranger. I go home to curl up with a cup of Barry’s tea and some Irish soda bread, my go to reading snack, and dig into the first book. I stayed up all night to get through all 4 then went online and bought 5-9.
I’m incredibly grateful to that lady because I have been a fan of Sherryl Woods ever since faithfully picking up each new addition to the Chesapeake Shore series and others along with watching the Hallmark TV show based on that series. Woods is the perfect medicine for when life gets too stressful.
Coming from an Irish family I feel drawn to the O’Briens, the way they’ve tried to hold onto the culture and passed it down to each new generation. My mom is a lot like Nell always getting involved in everyone’s life much to our annoyance and love.
Woods has continued that trademark warmth, love and sense of family with Lilac Lane. Since having reading the previous 13 I was extremely excited to get to return to Chesapeake Shores with book 14 and see how she was going to continue her matchmaking skills. The fun thing about her books is it’s normally pretty obvious in Chapter 1 or early on who is going to get set up with who but what you don’t know are the challenges they are going to face, how will they get together, who is going to break first, and most importantly how is the family going to help; after all these books are really about the love, loyalty and comfort of knowing family is there for you in all shapes and forms.
Woods does not disappoint with Lilac Lane as you get to feel once again like you are walking along the streets, into O’Briens Pub for a pint, Sally’s for a chocolate croissant or Megan’s Art Gallery to check out Moira’s latest work. My only complaint was I was really hoping she was going to include the 2 recipes for Shepard’s Pie her characters were fighting over as I was vastly curious what her take on them would be and how’d they differ. Any time I try a new ‘Irish’ restaurant in the States I ALWAYS order the Shepard’s Pie because I feel like you can test their true authenticity based on that one dish alone. Although nothing beats the recipe that has been in my family for some time and which I now have a craving to make!
If you are a fan of this series you will love this one and if like me once upon a time you’ve never read it I highly encourage you to start at the beginning as each book builds on the one prior. Leave your preconceived notions and/or judgements about Romance novels out as Woods provides some beautiful heartwarming stories that are sure to lighten up even the foulest days.
Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for allowing me to review this book.
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*Synopsis and pic are from amazon.com